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Saturday, Sep 22, 2018
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Forecast: A rainy ‘official’ start to summer for Tampa Bay

It’s the first day of summer and Tampa Bay can expect a lot of rain through the weekend as a broad low-pressure system moves into the gulf from the northeast.

Scattered showers and thunderstorms may march through the Tampa Bay area on Thursday morning and a few storms will have heavy downpours and frequent lightning, according to the National Weather Service. Other than the areas affected by the pop-up storms, the rest of Tampa Bay will see partly cloudy skies and temperatures rising to the mid 80s by the early afternoon.

Abundant moisture will drive up the heat index to around 97 degrees by the afternoon. Coastal breezes will come into play in the late afternoon as it sweeps storms deeper inland, forecasters said.

EXTENDED FORECAST: The 10-day outlook for the Tampa Bay area

By Friday, the system will shift slightly south, keeping Tampa Bay in its stormy cross hairs. Expect more pop-up scattered showers and thunderstorms. Once again, the storms will develop off the coast of the gulf in the morning and move inland by the early to late afternoon. Most of the moisture will begin to settle by the late evening, forecasters said.

Rain chances will ease slightly for Saturday, but it would still be a good idea to bring an umbrella to this year’s St. Pete Pride festivities. Saturday evening, the outside block party and parade should be dry after a day of scattered showers and thunderstorms. Much of the wet weather clears up by the evening.

Sunday and Monday will see increased chances of rain but the first half of next week is still unclear.

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